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Wednesday's Three Astros Things

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Talking about the designated hitter, Ruben Amaro and Pat Neshek (again)...

Some things to talk about while I direct you to a worthy cause for which you can donate blood...

1) DH to the National League?

Jesse Spector has an intriguing piece about the inevitability of the designated hitter moving to the National League. Spector acknowledges that it likely won't happen until the next collective bargaining agreement, but that may be a way for the ownership to give a little ground to get an international, or world-wide, draft.

Here's Spector's rationale for the universal rule set.

Having a uniform set of rules across baseball would solve this problem, not to mention the simple annoyance of having a major professional sport playing with two different sets of rules since 1973. Getting rid of the DH entirely is not something that is going to happen. David Ortiz remains one of the best-known players in the game, and extending the careers of stars makes the game more marketable. Do you really think Miguel Cabrera and Albert Pujols, two of the best hitters of their generation, are going to be playing first base regularly in their 40s?  These are people who put butts in seats and draw eyeballs to televisions, and the owners would be idiots to suggest doing away with that concept.

As terrible as moving to the American League was for this Astros fan a few years back, I've completely adjusted. I don't hate it, either, though I do miss the double switches and strategic thinking about when a pitcher would be coming to plate and who a team had on the bench.

Do you think the DH will ever populate the NL? Would that make the AL move sting a little less in retrospect?

2) Another team's GM

Weird exchange in this piece by Jayson Stark about a conversation he had with Ruben Amaro, Phillies GM. Amaro seemed to get defensive when Stark asked him if the injury to Cliff Lee meant anything for the possibility of trading Cole Hamels.

Amaro said the two were not lessons, because any pitcher can get hurt. He then talked about whether he should have traded Lee when he was still healthy.

"In '12 and '13, we were still trying to win," Amaro said. "I think [team president Pat Gillick] made a statement the other day that we maybe waited one year too long to go into rebuild mode. Maybe we did. But we've got to look forward now.

"We can't do anything about it now," he said. "It doesn't mean anything now, or that there was any kind of lesson in it. We were still trying to go for it. We were still trying to put ourselves in position to win."

That flashback you just had? That was to the Drayton Era Astros. Boy, I'm glad to be out of that situation.

3) Neshek's foot isn't only thing hurting

His heart hurts, too.

The reliever talked to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch about his time with the Cardinals and revealed that he wanted to stay by the Arch.

[General manager John Mozeliak] kept saying "lottery ticket" and "we're not going to be able to sign you back." Which, you know, you kind of go, "What the heck? You're the Cardinals." They're not a small market. I don't care what anybody says. Every game there is packed and it's a baseball atmosphere.

In one sense it was kind of disappointing, but he knew it. He saw better. He could do something cheaper and try to get better. I see where they're coming from. It was a good run. It worked out for everybody. ... I probably would have given a discount at the end, but there was never anything exchanged. I got that hint right away.

I guess he got paid, but does it concern anyone else that the Cards were so loathe to give Neshek the kind of money Houston did? Could he be a double agent?

I guess it says something that Neshek wanted to stay with the #BFIB and, as a fallback, came to the Astros. Maybe they offered him the most money, but could you see a player who talks that wistfully about STL choosing Houston two years ago?